Doctors Say "Micro-Botox" Is a Long-Term Fix for Reducing Sebum Production and Large Pores

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If you have large pores, you already know it’s a beauty problem that’s not so easy to remedy. Lots of products promise results, but rarely do they deliver—at least not in the long-term.

Enter one solution you probably never thought of: Neuromodulators (as in Botox Cosmetic, Dysport and Xeomin). 

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According to Harrison, NY, dermatologist Debbie Palmer a study in the Journal of Dermatological Science found that the use of Botox (botulinum toxin A) in small, superficial quantities could actually reduce skin pore size and skin oil production in the treated areas.

How it works: “Micro-Botox is injected in the superficial dermal skin layer, in small quantities,” she says. “The result is tighter, smaller pores and smoother skin. My patients love it! They say their makeup goes on smoother, they have less afternoon shine and friends comment on how rested or refreshed they look.”

Another plus Dr. Palmer points to is that patients don't have to remember to apply topical products daily and they don't have the downtime that may be associated with lasers or chemical peels. “The downside is that the treatment only lasts about three-to-four months. Laser treatments have more lasting effects, but they often require downtime.”

What's more, the benefits are sometimes found by surprise. "When injecting Botox into FDA-approved areas, such as the forehead and glabella, people often comment that their skin looks smoother and less oily for the length of time that the Botox is active," says Mt. Kisco, NY, dermatologist David E. Bank, MD. "To inject strictly for pores, it would be an off-label use of the neuromodulator and the object of the injections would be to inject higher into the skin to affect the muscles that surround the pore. This would prevent the muscle from contracting as strongly, decreasing its ability to secrete oil and sweat."

While New York dermatologist Marnie B. Nussbaum, MD, says it is proven that Botox Cosmetic can decrease sebum production when injected intra-dermally in tiny quantities dispersed over a targeted area, there’s not much to back up the fact that it can decrease the actual size of the pore.

“Nevertheless, if there is decreased sebum production, the pores may appear smaller. I routinely get requests for pore minimization, however, I tend to recommend lasers such as Fraxel and Clear + Brilliant, in addition to chemical peels, which I also believe minimize the appearance but not the actual size.”

If you aren’t quite ready for the in-office solution variety, Dr. Nussbaum still recommends the simple standby of mineral makeup.

“It is great for reflecting light and therefore minimizing the appearance of pores.”

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